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Dyslexia, LD? Students with Print Disabilities Can Read Rainbow Rowell's Best Sellers Right Now

Rainbow Rowell had three books for teens on the New York Times Best Seller Young Adult Hardcover list on Oct. 28 and, as a blogger about accessible educational materials (AEM), I was fretting. I always do when it comes to new releases or relatively new popular books. I worry that these come only in hardback and soft covers or in digital print that is not accessible to students who struggle to read. But, happily, I was wrong.

Ready To Read  In fact, two companies in the business of creating alternative formats for individuals with print disabilities have converted several of Rowell's books into audiobooks, including two of her best sellers. What is also special is that these versions come with learning supports that aid decoding and comprehension, as well as a teacher management tool. Those features are almost never found in school and public library audiobooks.

Read What Friend Read  So, the book conversions mean that special needs students who are eligible for AEM under a special education law can read what their peers do, and at the same time as everyone else. Accessibility of this kind leads to more book talking, more book talks, and expanded opportunities for inclusion as part of the teen book scene in and out of school. Here are the Rainbow Rowell options:

  • From Bookshare: FangirlLandlineAttachmentsEleanor & Park  Bookshare offers audiobooks with high quality text-to-speech voices.
  • From Learning Ally: Eleanor and ParkFangirl  Learning Ally's books have human narrators. The VOICEtext editions have highlighting that is synced with the book's narration. 

Eligible For AEM  Parents and education teams determine which students are eligible for AEM. Students with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, and those with visual and physical disabilities can qualify. In addition other special education students with autism and intellectual disabilities could meet the criteria for AEM. Students can access text in formats that best help them learn such as audio, accessible PDFs, braille, large print and more. Moreover, these editions offer learning supports and a teacher management tool that school and public library audio-editions lack. 

We Are AIM-VA  AIM-VA and its counterparts in all states comprise a national AEM program that operates under a legal exception to federal copyright law. This program provides print alternatives at no cost to families or schools when learners are found eligible. Log on to the AIM-VA home page to learn more about eligibility in Virginia. In other states, contact a special education teacher or school administrator for guidelines, or download the list of AEM state contacts.External Link to download the list of AEM state contacts (New Window)

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